Kansas City rookie defensive back Joshua Williams out of Fayetteville State made the biggest splash among HBCU NFL products with his play this week.
The 6-3, 193-pound first-year player saw his most extensive action of the season in Sunday’s night’s showdown between his Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills.
Williams, the first HBCU player to go off the boards in the 2022 NFL Draft, got his first start at cornerback and played 55 snaps on defense, 75 percent of his team’s plays. The rook came through with nine tackles, six of them of the solo variety. He added two tackles for losses. He was also credited with one pass break-up.
HBCU NFL Report: Bills target Williams
Bottom line is, the Bills’ offensive brain trust targeted the 23-year old rookie.
The Chiefs reported that in addition to his tackles, Williams gave up two touchdowns in press-man coverage. They came on two perfectly thrown balls from Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
On the first TD, Williams was beaten by the Bills’ 6-2, 210-pound wideout Gabe Davis on a 34-yard fade pattern. The second-quarter score gave the Bills a 10-7 lead. See a detailed description on video here.
In the third quarter, wily veteran Stefon Diggs beat the rookie on an identical fade pattern covering 17 yards. That score put the Bills up 17-10 after the teams went into halftime tied at 10. See it here.
HBCU NFL Report: Stewart at it again
Indianapolis defensive tackle Grover Stewart played another outstanding game in the Colts’ 34-27 win over Jacksonville.
The 6-4, 315-pound sixth-year run-stopper out of Albany State had four solo tackles, among five stops vs. the Jags. One of those solos, was a sack of QB Trevor Lawrence. It was his second sack of the season.
Philadelphia defensive tackle Javon Hargrave also got in on the action as the Eagles moved to 6-0 with a 26-17 win at home over Dallas.
Hargrave, a seventh-year player out of South Carolina State, had just two tackles, both solos. But he also got one hit on Cowboys’ QB Cooper Rush.and swatted down one pass.
HBCU NFL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
For games of October 13 – 17, 2022
– #23 JOSHUA WILLIAMS, DB, Kansas City (1st season, FAYETTEVILLE STATE) Williams started at cornerback in the Chiefs’ 24-20 loss to Buffalo. He was second on the team with nine tackles, six solos with two tackles for losses. Williams was in on 55 defensive snaps (75%) and six (26%) snaps on special teams.
– #90 GROVER STEWART, DT, Indianapolis (6th season, ALBANY STATE) – In 34-27 win over Jacksonville, Stewart had five total tackles, four solos, one a sack. Stewart played 41 downs on defense (65%) and eight on special teams (32%).
– #12 KHADAREL HODGE, WR, Atlanta (5th season, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M) – In 28-14 win over San Francisco, Hodge had one assisted tackle on special teams. He played seven plays on offense (12%) and 13 on special teams (39%).
– #6 JAMIE GILLAN, P, New York Giants (5th season, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF) – In 24-20 win over Baltimore, Gillan punted four times for 185 yards (46.3 yard average) with a net of 43.3 yards per punt. He landed two inside the 20 and had a long punt of 60 yards. Gillan was in on nine plays on special teams (35%).
OTHER TOP HBCU NFL PERFORMANCES
– #78 TRENT SCOTT, OT, Pittsburgh (5th season, GRAMBLING STATE) – In 20-18 win over Tampa Bay, Scott was in on two plays on offense (3%).
– #72 TERRON ARMSTEAD, LT, New Orleans (9th season, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF) – Not active in 24-16 loss to Minnesota.
– #60 NICK LEVERETT, OL, Tampa Bay (2nd season, NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL) – Did not play in 20-18 loss to Pittsburgh.
– # 97 JAVON HARGRAVE, DT, Philadelphia (7th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In 26-17 win over Dallas, Hargrave started at defensive tackle and had two total tackles, both solos, one hit on the quarterback and one pass swatted down. Hargrave played 48 defensive snaps (72%).
– #45 JOE THOMAS, LB, Chicago (8th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In 12-7 loss to Washington, Thomas had two assisted tackles. He was in for 12 plays on defense (21%) and 19 on special teams (95%).
– #33 ANTONIO HAMILTON, DB, Arizona (7th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In 19-9 loss to Seattle, Hamilton had one solo tackle on special teams. He was in on 19 plays on defense (28%) and 19 on special teams (73%).
– #56 QUINTON BELL, OLB, Atlanta (2nd year, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M) – In 28-14 win over San Francisco, Bell had one solo tackle on defense. Bell was in on 10 plays on defense (17%) and 13 on special teams (59%).
– #53 SHAQUILLE LEONARD, LB, Indianapolis (5th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – Leonard was not active in 34-27 win over Jacksonville.
– #47 DE’SHAAN DIXON, DE, Jacksonville (1st season, NORFOLK STATE) – Dixon was not active in 34-27 loss to Indianapolis.
– #41 MARKQUESE BELL, DB, Dallas (1st season, FLORIDA A&M) – Bell was not active in Cowboys 26-17 loss to Philadelphia.
– #14 COBIE DURANT, CB, LA Rams (1st season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – Durant was not active in Rams’ 24-10 win over Carolina.
– #80 CHESTER ROGERS, WR/KR, Cleveland (6th season, GRAMBLING STATE) – In 38-15 loss to New England, Rogers returned two punts for 7 yards and five kickoffs for 106 yards (21.2 yard average). He has a long kickoff return of 27 yards and lost one fumble. Rogers played 11 plays on special teams (38%).
– #35 DANNY JOHNSON, DB, Washington (5th season, SOUTHERN) – In 12-7 win over Chicago, Johnson did not have a stat in seven (35%) special teams plays.